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Odessa, Texas

Odessa, Texas was established in 1881 as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroads. It has been said that Odessa's name originated from and area that resembled our region around the Russian city in Ukraine named Odessa . The unsurpassed beauty of the West Texas sunsets and a climate that is warm and inviting make this uncommon city a true paradise. Odessa is also well known for its hospitality, and people with deep appreciation of colorful past and enthusiasm for a future rich with possibilities. Odessa is a city where cowboys, culture, oil and everything in between bring visitors a flavor so delicious it can only be described as "A City of Contrasts."

Odessa is located in Ector County, approximately midway between Ft. worth and El Paso, covering an area of 35.04 square miles. This area is called the Permian Basin . The Permian Basin is approximately 250 mile wide and 300 miles long. The basin was formed during the Permian Period, the final portion of the Paleozoic Era approximately 280 million years ago. A shallow sea, known as the Permian Sea, which was densely populated with life, once covered the Permian Basin. As the ocean dried up, the decaying plants and animals eventually helped form the gigantic pools of oil and gas that are still being taken from the basin. Three of the state’s major land resources meet here- the High Plains, Trans Pecos and Edward’s Plateau.

Located in a region where the Comanche Indians once roamed, Odessa ’s history as a settlement can be traced to the 1881 extension of the Texas and Pacific Railway across the south plains and the need to provide water for the steam engines. The availability of cheap land encouraged settlers to the area from 1879 to 1885. The first ranchers arrived in 1885, but it was the railroad that made Odessa vital to the cattle industry. By the mid 1890’s Odessa was an established cattle shipping center.

When oil was discovered in 1926, the destiny of the community took a different course. This discovery brought people of varied interests and occupations to the area, and the local economy began to change from a ranching base into an industrial one.

Today, Odessa is alive and thriving, although oil and gas still remain our largest industry the city has begun to diversify. Odessa is quickly being recognized as a major health industry hub with three hospitals, a cancer center and several medical specialists in the area.

Attractions and Upcoming Events


Parker House Museum

The Parker House Museum is Odessa's newest addition to the historical records of Odessa. In 1935, the Parker family moved into this modest house located on 1,290 acres. It represents the lifestyle of a prominent ranching family, who served the communities of Andrews and Ector counties since 1907

Odessa, TX Museums

Largest Jack Rabbit

The "World's Largest Jack Rabbit" was first pioneered by former Attorney General John Ben Shepperd during his term as Odessa Chamber of Commerce president in 1962

Odessa, TX One Of A Kinds

Texon Santa Fe Depot Museum

The Town of Texon, Texas was founded in 1924 by the Big Lake Oil Company. Texon was established on the railroad line owned by the Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient of Texas Railroad. This railroad line extended from San Angelo to Alpine and survived mainly on Texas oil traffic. In 1924

Odessa, TX Railroad History


Things to do near Odessa, TX

Yucca Theatre

The Yucca is a nostalgic example of flamboyant Assyrian-style architecture, featuring gilded lions, ornate columns, scrollwor...

Terrell County Visitor Center

Established in 1995, the Visitor Center serves thousands of travelers seeking information about Sanderson, Terrell County and...

Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Established in 1681, and later dedicated Corpus Christi de la Ysleta, 1690; damaged by both floods and fires, but restored an...

Davis Mountains State Park

In a sloping basin among scenic Davis Mountains, 1,869 acres host more than 155,000 visitors annually. Primary service facili...

Apache Trading Post

Rustic log cabin and family oriented gift shop features Big Bend collectibles, books on the history and geology of the Big Be...